We flew over from Oahu so had to leave the North Shore at 3am. Got to the airport at 4 and was met by an agent from Polynesian Adventures. She gave us our tickets and got us to the counter. Our flight landed at 5:45am but no one was there to meet us. A call was made to the Polynesian office where we were informed that they don't pick up that early but would send someone in 15 min. hmmm? Aside from that the trip was fantastic!. Tommy our guide and bus driver was knowledgeable, funny and talked for 12 hours God bless him He drove that big bus like a pro!! Give that guy a raise :.The big island is so different from Oahu we were awestruck. A few recommendations if you are flying over take an empty water bottle as there is no place to buy water except lunch, which is on you . Also if you are a coffee person bring an empty container as you can refill it at your first stop free. I think a cooler on the bus with water would be a good addition that Polynesian could implement especially considering the cost of the tour All in all this is a tour that I highly recommend even if you are staying on the big island. Tommy got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight home walked in the door at 9:30 pm exhausted but so glad we did this.
Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and highly entertaining. This tour does have a very early start from Oahu (3 am pickup) so expect to be completely wiped out by the time your plane returns. We had the 8 pm flight as was totally sleeping in the airport by the end. Another gotcha.. 2 pina colado drinks at the big island airport will run you $30 so beware.
Very enjoyable day. Excellent tour guides.Well organised. Visited so many interresting places, like the black sands with sun bathing turtles,well worth the money.
Everything was so organized to the letter!!! Drivers were prompt, friendly and very knowlegeable about their state. It was very enjoyable, at times we wished for more time but on the flip side we did need to catch our flight back so time limit was understood. Had a blast and looking forward to a return visit.
Jennifer M USA
This is a very long, but very worthwhile trip from Honolulu. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but the tour is designed to show the variety of the scenery, from barren lava flows, to active volcanoes, lush forest, waterfalls and lava tubes. We also saw turtles coming ashore at the black sand beach. The trip also gave insights into the economy with stops at a Kona coffee plantation and later at a Macadamia nut cooperative, as well as insights into the importance of cattle ranching The guide was extremely informative about the history,
geology and agriculture of the island.
Although it was a very long day 4am pick-up! I would thoroughly recommend this tour! It is a great way to get a sense of the biggest island of Hawaii and it was surprising how many different landscapes/scenery the island has to offer. Our bus driver Kala was exceptionally knowledgeable and likable and made the tour insightful throughout. Personal highlights for me were the black sand beach at Punalu'u and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park purely for the landscapes and the active magma. Unfortunately on this tour, we did not make it to the Macadamia Nut Factory as our bus experienced a tyre blow-out! This was disappointing and also slightly concerning about whether we would make it back for our inter-island flight. However Kala handled it all very calmly and professionally and we made it to the airport by alternate transport supplied by Polynesian Adventure Tours. There was a minor delay in being collected once back at Honolulu airport due to a change in the arrangements that we were not notified of. My boyfriend and I will definitely be returning to the islands and would be happy to use Polynesian Adventure Tours again!
Stephen J L Australia
We totally enjoyed the trip. Be prepared for a very early start but it was great to be picked up from our condo at Waikiki Banyan at 4.30am and taken to the airport, where we met a another guide to received our flight details. We had time for a quick breakfast after going through security so don't forget passports and/or Id. At the Big Island we met our guide and driver for the day. Tommy gave us great information flavoured with humor and some local community information to make our day enjoyable. Tommy described what we would see at each stop and made sure everyone knew how to appreciate and understand the enviroment, or the production process and history to produce the products we were about to sample. The number of stops were ok but I personally would have liked one on local art/crafts but really we were interested in the volcanic park so we both felt the tour met our main objective for the trip. It was a big day for us and all was going well untill we arrived at Honolulu Airport. Well when we met the transfer resentative she was confussed about our arrival time and indicated we were very late but in fact we came straight from the plane to meet her. The transfer driver was unimpressed that he would have to go out of his way to drop us off at our condo and instead dropped us off at a nearby corner. This was not appreciated but we really had no choice but to leave the shuttle, this was disappointing and discourteous after being up from 3.30am and very tired after a 17.5 hour day. One has to ask who would have taken responsibility if we had had an accident whilst walking from the corner to our accommodation. Perhaps the company used needs to make sure their staff are well informed and follow procedure in a courteous and considerate way.
Very good tour. Interesting and informative. Shame about the weather. Only negative was the long wait at the airport until our flight back to Honolulu.
Despite the early start this is an amazing tour, well organised, although it would have been appreciated if fellow travelers had been a little more considerate and arrived back at the coach on time. You see many different types of terrain, walking through a lava tube, how often will you get the chance to do that! Sightseeing interspersed with a lunch stop as well as visits to both sweet and macadamia nut factories, delicious!
Although the day is a long one (3:30am pick up in Oahu to the airport) it was fun to visit the Big Island! We got to see most of the island, including volcanos (no lava) -- and we were kept well informed on the history by our tour bus driver, Sal. We were a little bummed because we got to the airport to fly back to Oahu only about 12 minutes before the plane took off - and this was after being driven for what seemed like hours at night time to drop off folks staying on the island at their hotels. A good tour though and glad we did it!
Early start (4:30 a.m.) but everything was organized perfectly. I had never used Viator before and was nervous especially about this large group of 7 people and the details surrounding getting us where we needed to be. The pick up bus was a little late, but other than that, everything worked great and we enjoyed our day tour of the big island. The tour guide/bus driver was very entertaining and knowledgeable. I would suggest reminding people in advance to tip the driver well. We hadn't thought about this until later in the day and did not have much cash left.
It was a nice trip that let you feel of the wonderful naturals seens
A very long bus ride, but you get to see the whole island with all of its' vast diversity.
Tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. The trip to the volcano and surrounding areas were wonderful. Could have done without the stops to the stores though.
I took this tour with Polynesian Adventures. They are a fantastic company. To meet my group on the Big Island, I had to fly from Honolulu to Kona on Hawai'i (the Big Island). I was a sole traveller for this portion of the day and there was always somebody to meet me and guide me to the next step of my journey (exactly the same on the way back). Their arrangements all went like clockwork, timing/punctuality is excellent and the Tour Guide (Harry) on Hawai'i was always courteous and made it a priority to look after us. He gave us advice about the best spots to get photos, how to avoid queues or get the best view or understanding of something - he was really great. They all make you feel like they really care about your safety, your enjoyment and your knowledge about what you are seeing. Being a full day tour, this is a long day - it is an entire circuit of Hawai'i, but the island is so diverse, everything is fascinating. We saw the remains of centuries of lava flows and volcanic activity, black sand beaches, walked through huge lava tubes, stood at the edge of the mightly Kilauea crater, then watched as the seismographs monitored and recorded every single movement in the Earth's crust nearby. We went to Hilo, saw Rainbow Falls, indulged in the marvellous Kona Coffee and Island Macadamias - it was a great day out. The orchid farm is no longer on the itinerary though. A really good and interesting trip.
uyen ly Australia
This is such an excellent tour, even though we did not have much time at each stop but it covered lots of great information and breathtaking view. Our driver Jan is very professional, talks in a beautiful voice. If you do not have a few days to spend on Big Island but wish to learn much about it I strongly recommend this tour, but please keep in mind it is such a long 16 hours trip.
Jo-Ann L Australia
We enjoyed this tour and were particularly impressed with the fact that we had booked it from Australia, yet all the connections and details were exactly as promised.
I would not recommend this trip if you are not currently on the big island. The tour is nearly 12 hrs. long and if you have to fly over, it's even longer. You do not see much of the volcano from a ground view. The island was interesting and there are many things to see, but not what I expected.
This was a very good tour. It is about an 18hr day from Hawaii, well worth doing. However I have recently had spinal surgery (3 weeks ago) and they are a couple of stops that I could not do. The tour guide was funny and very informative. Enjoyable but a long day.
Tour guide was excellent. Saw a fair bit of the Big Island. Did think we would get closer to the volcanoes. But still a great day.
This is a a very long day as it is an early start from the airport, very good flights both ways, on time and no issues at all, good help to get on the gates.
After the flight to big island you then you start to pick up other tourists and then start the tour.
( a later flight would be better and then picked up from the airport to pick up the bus after it was full would have been much better).
The tour guide then brings you update and informs you you are due for a 300mile drive stopping for lunch at 11:00 and tells you will not see any lava today (only if you take a helicopter flight can you see any), that dampened the spirit a bit.
The guide Milo, was very informative during the whole tour although repetition of phrases used drove some people to earphones. The weather on the north side of the island is tropical and half of the drive was in terrential rain, no pre advice about rain mac etc although ponchos and umbrellas are available to buy on route.
On the hole the day was long and one of those you were glad it was over, given the choice 2nd time around it would be best to stop one night and see the island over two days and arrange close viewing if lava nearer the south shores of the island.
This tour was very interesting but not exactly what we were expecting. Most of your time is spent on the bus. We had 45 minutes for lunch (cost not included), and only 10-15 mins. at the few stops we made. We were led to believe we would be able to actually see fresh lava, but our tour guide said that could only be done by air and that we had been lied to. He said the same thing about waterfalls. He stopped at one and we "saw" several others as we sped by in the bus. Again, he said we were promised to see waterfalls, not get close enough to touch or get good photos. The majority of the tour you drive by lava fields, coffee trees, and macadamia nut trees. It was a good Island over view with some beautiful scenery, but after returning home to view our photos, many were blurred because they were taken out the window of a moving bus. We would not do this tour again, especially considering the $$ paid. If we knew then what we know now, we would fly over, rent a car, and stay overnight. Anyone could drive to any of the places we stopped themselves with a map for much less cost.
I didn't expect this to be mostly sitting on a bus with only 20 minutes at every stop.
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